Maccabi’s Head of Football Deparment who will take charge of the team as interim coach, said: “There are no easy matches in this league. Nof Hagalil are a very tough side, a team that plays forward and tries to surprise you with counter attacks. We will need to be prepared for this and we expect a very tough match”.

Following Thursday’s Conference League match against LASK and Sunday’s league encounter against Hapoel Haifa, this will be Maccabi’s third game in six days. Yet on the toll is is claiming on his squad’s physical condition, Itzhaki said: “These are things I would rather keep to ourselves. There are various minor problems but the squad is almost full”.

With regards to the fitness of Daniel Tenenbaum and Dan Glazer who are suffering from back and knee injuries respectively, Itzhaki said: “I don’t want to go into too much details about matters which have yet to decide on. But as for Daniel I can say that he is almost back to full training”.

While Maccabi’s defense leaked the largest number of goal in the league, the attack appears to be more successful yet Croatian striker Stipe Perica hasn’t found the back of the net recently. “As someone who used to play up front I know there are moments where the ball doesn’t find the back of the net” Itzhaki explained, “I believe he will score his fair share of goals as he is a good player and showed his qualities in the past. We just need to create more chances for our strukers and the goals will come”.

On the search for a new coach: “Nothing has changed over the past couple of days. As I said in the past and will repeat once again – we are in a search for a new coach. I haven’t thought about continuing to coach until the end of the season. I am the coach for now, and will stay for as long as I am needed but I hope we will find a quick solution despite all the recent restriction. We hope to find the suitable coach and the right man for the job”.

As for the team’s form and dominance in matches, Itzhaki added: “I can see an improvement. The match against Hapoel in this sense was extra ordinary with regars to our dominance, possession and the number of chances we created. In our European matches against HJK and LASK we were also totally dominant. In the second half against Hapoel Haifa however we suffered from a dip in form but knew to convert our chances and hold onto the result. We knew how important the match was and how we couldn’t afford to drop anymore points. Our aim is always to hold onto the ball for as long as possible, play good attacking football, the kind that get’s you results”.

On the lack of playing time of Ido Shahar: “There is no particular reason. He is a professional and a good player. We have a deep squad and a long series of matches in the forthcoming future so a player must prove himself in training and in the minutes he receives, should he receive them, that he deserves to play. I judge players only o the way they train and pick players that I think are right for a particular match”.